West Seattle Crime Prevention Council – West Seattle Blog… http://westseattleblog.com West Seattle news, 24/7 Wed, 21 Feb 2018 21:21:56 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.9.4 WEST SEATTLE CRIME WATCH: 3x-stolen CR-V; musical equipment stolen; talk with police at WSCPC Tuesday night http://westseattleblog.com/2018/02/west-seattle-crime-watch-3x-stolen-cr-v-musical-equipment-stolen-talk-with-police-at-wscpc-tuesday-night/ http://westseattleblog.com/2018/02/west-seattle-crime-watch-3x-stolen-cr-v-musical-equipment-stolen-talk-with-police-at-wscpc-tuesday-night/#respond Tue, 20 Feb 2018 06:12:02 +0000 http://westseattleblog.com/?p=909476 In West Seattle Crime Watch tonight – two reader reports, plus a reminder:

CR-V STOLEN FOR THE THIRD TIME: We’ve shown you Joe‘s 2001 red Honda CR-V twice before – it was stolen, spotted by a WSB reader, then stolen again the day it was picked up from the repair shop, found again, this time in the county. Now, Joe’s mom Linda e-mails to say it’s been taken for the third time in three weeks from outside his residence near 16th SW/SW Thistle. When last found, it was drivable, but with “trash strewn inside,” Linda says, including “a female’s ID card and a letter from the Prosecuting Attorney’s Office addressed to a guy with a record.” Then on Saturday night, the car was stolen again. He has since purchased a used car and she’s given him a “Club” for that one. But if you see the red CR-V – call 911.

MUSICAL EQUIPMENT TAKEN IN CAR PROWL: From Clipper:

I would like to report that in the early hours of Sunday morning February 18th, I was victim of a car prowl. The back window of my van was broken and musical equipment stolen from the vehicle. The incident occurred near 48th Ave. SW and Andover. Items taken were:

-15 inch Bag End speaker Model S15-N, Serial # K10678. Purple colored exterior.
-Peavey 112M Wedge floor monitor speaker w/volume control
-2 black duffel bags with small items such as pedals, mike cords, speaker cables, stand lights, power cords, direct box and a SM58 Beta microphone.

A police report was filed. If anyone has any info, the case number is 18-61429. Thanks!

WEST SEATTLE CRIME PREVENTION COUNCIL: Concerns/questions for police? Want to hear about local crime trends firsthand? The monthly WSCPC meeting at the Southwest Precinct is tomorrow night (Tuesday, February 20th), 7 pm. Along with the community update and Q&A, there’s a special guest this month, SPD Bias Crimes Unit Detective Elizabeth Wareing. All welcome – the precinct is at 2300 SW Webster, and the meeting room is right off the public parking lot.

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@ West Seattle Crime Prevention Council: Shoplifting crackdown; precinct’s fall events… http://westseattleblog.com/2017/10/west-seattle-crime-prevention-council-shoplifting-crackdown-precincts-fall-events/ http://westseattleblog.com/2017/10/west-seattle-crime-prevention-council-shoplifting-crackdown-precincts-fall-events/#comments Thu, 19 Oct 2017 06:56:12 +0000 http://westseattleblog.com/?p=898083 No special guest at last night’s West Seattle Crime Prevention Council meeting, so it was a shorter-than-usual meeting devoted to police updates and community concerns.

WESTWOOD VILLAGE EMPHASIS: Southwest Precinct commander Capt. Pierre Davis said there’s a police team focused on Westwood Village shoplifting, which had been previously mentioned as a chronic/increasing problem. As part of the WW focus, they’re also working with Metro regarding use of the C Line to get to and from the area to commit crimes.

PROPERTY CRIME OVERALL: In all, Capt. Davis said the general idea is to keep working on tactics to stop the same types of crime from happening again and again and again. That’s why they’ve ramped up early for not only shoplifting but also for package theft. Overall, they’re seeing a five percent drop, and continuing to work to arrest key suspects – often, repeat offenders well-known to police – and to work with prosecutors to get longer sentences for them.

MYERS WAY: This came up as a community concern, but most of the questions involved jurisdictional issues – city, county, state. (As shown on city maps, both sides of the road are in the city limits up until SW 100th.)

DRUG TAKE-BACK DAY: As announced earlier this week, the next twice-yearly Drug Take-Back Day at the SW Precinct (2300 SW Webster) will be Saturday, October 28th, 10 am-2 pm – bring your no-longer-needed/expired/etc. medications for dropoff, no questions asked.

SPD AT WEST SEATTLE JUNCTION HARVEST FESTIVAL: The day after that, you’ll see SPD participating in the West Seattle Junction Harvest Festival, 10 am-2 pm Sunday, October 29th – crime-prevention coordinator Jennifer Burbridge is working on the activity plan.

SPD HORSES IN WEST SEATTLE? Though SPD’s Mounted Patrol is based at Westcrest Park in West Seattle, their primary area of duty is in the West Precinct – big crowd events downtown, Capitol Hill, etc. However, you might see them in West Seattle during the holiday season, Operations Lt. Ron Smith told the WSCPC.

The West Seattle Crime Prevention Council meets third Tuesdays most months, 7 pm at the precinct.

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WEST SEATTLE CRIME WATCH: Car stolen; rock thrown through windshield; WSCPC preview http://westseattleblog.com/2017/06/west-seattle-crime-watch-car-stolen-rock-thrown-through-windshield-wscpc-preview/ Sun, 04 Jun 2017 00:55:09 +0000 http://westseattleblog.com/?p=884815 Two reader reports in West Seattle Crime Watch:

AUTO THEFT: Darlene‘s silver 2009 Chevy Traverse, personalized plate MGICIAN, was stolen Thursday night/Friday morning near 17th/Dawson. If you see it, call 911, and refer to police report #17-196428.

PREVENTION ADVICE: Auto theft is up in the Southwest Precinct this year – Crime Prevention Coordinator Jennifer Burbridge says that 215 cases were reported in the SWP jurisdiction (West Seattle and South Park) January through April of this year, compared to 179 in the same period last year. Here’s a one-sheet with SPD advice for protecting your vehicle(s).

ROCK THROUGH WINDSHIELD: A texter reports this vandalism in Arbor Heights early today:

It happened near 42nd and 100th.

Also:

NEXT WEST SEATTLE CRIME PREVENTION COUNCIL MEETING: The special guest booked by WSCPC president Richard Miller will talk, and answer questions about, gangs – 7 pm June 20th at the precinct, 2300 SW Webster.

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@ West Seattle Crime Prevention Council: All about SPD’s Traffic Unit, plus local crime trends http://westseattleblog.com/2017/05/west-seattle-crime-prevention-council-all-about-spds-traffic-unit-plus-local-crime-trends/ http://westseattleblog.com/2017/05/west-seattle-crime-prevention-council-all-about-spds-traffic-unit-plus-local-crime-trends/#comments Wed, 17 May 2017 18:47:07 +0000 http://westseattleblog.com/?p=883114 By Randall Hauk
Reporting for West Seattle Blog

Opioid addiction continues to be the root cause behind much of West Seattle’s property crime problems, Captain Pierre Davis explained at last night’s meeting of the West Seattle Crime Prevention Council.

Opening the meeting, the Southwest Precinct commander updated community leaders and interested residents on the West Seattle/South Park police force’s progress on a number of crime-related issues. Later in the meeting, SPD’s citywide Traffic Enforcement Section commander was the special guest.

First, trends and issues: Davis says car prowls are down 22 percent from last year over the first four months of 2017, but that there continues to be a lot of auto thefts occurring in West Seattle neighborhoods (neighborhood-crime statistics are available via the SPD Crime Dashboard). While police continue to track cases and make a significant number of arrests, Davis says that reacting to crimes after the fact will have minimal impact on the issue.

“As the chief says, we will never arrest our way out of problems like this,” said Davis.

The captain reiterated advice about assuring valuables are not left in vehicles to help prevent becoming a victim, especially with the warmer weather of summer months approaching, when Davis says activity tends to rise.

The displacement of homeless encampments in other parts of the city was another topic discussed by Davis. A number of recreational vehicles and individuals who had been encamped elsewhere have recently been noticed as moving into West Seattle (we reported twice last week on the new, unauthorized RV camp off 2nd SW between West Marginal Way and Highland Park Way SW).

SW Precinct Operations Lieutenant Ron Smith says that the law requiring delivery of a 72-hour notice before impounding a vehicle as “abandoned” was likely written to primarily target passenger vehicles and not as a tool for managing the arrival of those living out of their recreational vehicles parked along neighborhood streets. Davis added that those living in RVs ¨know the game quite well,” moving their vehicle a short distance after receiving notice and then moving back to the same spot shortly thereafter. With police tied to the 72-hour rule, they are left with few ways to otherwise address the issue. An RV leaking fluid onto the street may be impounded due to the potential environmental impact. Meanwhile, a vehicle that might be deemed unsafe for driving might be of greater public danger while moving.

Smith noted that service calls tend to “skyrocket” with the arrival of the new encampments and that the precinct has already noted an increase since the new influx. Residents are encouraged to report issues with encampments via the ¨Find-it, Fix-it¨ mobile application or website or the city complaint line at 206-684-CITY (2489).

¨It’s an expensive problem and a tough issue to swallow,¨ says Capt. Davis. ¨But once crime occurs, that is where we step in hot and heavy.¨

One attendee inquired about a recent increase in gun activity in the area. Davis responded by saying there had been ¨emphasis patrols since the spate of shootings began,¨ including work by gang units.

SPECIAL GUEST – CAPTAIN ERIC SANO:

The commander of SPD’s Traffic Section had barely been introduced before being asked where there is a quota on traffic citations.

¨Absolutely not,” replied Capt. Sano.

Before discussing his role with the Traffic Section, Sano mentioned that he used to oversee the major crimes task force and wanted to emphasize the importance of Davis’s advice about not leaving valuables in motor vehicles.

Sano’s team covers all of Seattle with 180 officers: 120 parking-enforcement personnel and supervisors and 60 “sworn” (and therefore armed) officers. The sworn officers are split evenly between motorcycle and vehicle patrols. The section is aided by photo enforcement, particularly near school zones and other high-priority areas. High-risk locations are identified through data analysis and targeted for enforcement, though Sano says they also sometimes will respond directly to complaints and requests of the community.

Motorcyclists along Alki and speeders on Delridge draw the most complaints from West Seattle, says Sano, addign that SW Roxbury Street, 35th Avenue SW, violators in the bus lane on the West Seattle Bridge, and commercial trucks coming from Harbor Island all generate a significant volume of phone calls.

In addition to daily enforcement, Sano’s team assists in managing traffic around special events, such as sporting events, concerts, parades, and marches. They also are on-call to deal with the arrival of high-profile visitors, such as former President Jimmy Carter, who arrived in the city earlier Tuesday with wife Rosalynn Carter. Additionally, the sudden need for assistance on traffic-impacting events that do not go through the permitting process can further strain his team’s resources.

Sano stressed that his parking-enforcement personnel deal only with the parking-citation portion of RVs and abandoned cars, but not individuals living in them. He encourages residents to report abandoned vehicles via the Find-it, Fix-it app.

A question about reporting pedestrian issues led to discussion of Mayor Ed Murray´s Vision Zero, aimed at bringing an end to fatalities and serious injuries on Seattle streets. Sano acknowledged that fatalities are currently up and that enforcement alone may bring short-term results, but will not be the entire solution, as problem intersections must be studied for best permanent fixes.

Another attendee brought up a specific problem area, noting that many drivers disregard stop signs along 17th Avenue SW in Highland Park, as reported earlier in the week. The resident said he noticed that even when officers stopped someone for rolling through the stop sign, it appeared they were let off with warnings rather than receiving a citation that might better serve as a needed deterrent.

Sano responded by saying that in cases where there is a change in traffic control, the initial goal is to educate drivers and change behaviors, which is when warnings tend to be used, but that enforcement via citations is otherwise the expectation.

In discussing driver education and efforts at changing behaviors, Sano mentioned the coming laws regarding the use of mobile devices by vehicle operators. Though he did not yet have all the details on the law that was signed by Governor Jay Inslee earlier on Tuesday, Sano said Seattle Police would use a “media blitz” to assure drivers are aware of the new restriction on holding their phone while driving before it goes into effect.

The West Seattle Crime Prevention Council meets third Tuesdays most months, 7 pm at the Southwest Precinct. Our WSCPC coverage, going back to 2008, is archived here, newest to oldest.

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Question about Seattle Police traffic enforcement? Be at WS Crime Prevention Council next Tuesday! http://westseattleblog.com/2017/05/question-about-seattle-police-traffic-enforcement-be-at-ws-crime-prevention-council-next-tuesday/ http://westseattleblog.com/2017/05/question-about-seattle-police-traffic-enforcement-be-at-ws-crime-prevention-council-next-tuesday/#comments Thu, 11 May 2017 15:32:50 +0000 http://westseattleblog.com/?p=882480 The questions come up often in story comments here on WSB – why don’t you see Seattle Police Traffic Enforcement officers at certain trouble spots? Why do you see them at certain spots some consider to be “speed traps”? How can you get them assigned to enforcement where you believe they’re needed? Those are just a few. Next Tuesday (May 16th), you can bring those questions directly to the commander of the traffic unit, Capt. Eric Sano, who is the scheduled guest at the West Seattle Crime Prevention Council meeting. The monthly WSCPC meeting is also where you can bring local crime questions/concerns to Southwest Precinct leadership, and hear the latest on crime trends. The meeting’s at 7 pm Tuesday in the meeting room just off the precinct parking lot, 2300 SW Webster.

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VIDEO: What police told last night’s West Seattle Crime Prevention Council meeting about recent gunfire incidents, and more http://westseattleblog.com/2017/04/video-what-police-told-last-nights-west-seattle-crime-prevention-council-meeting-about-recent-gunfire-incidents-and-more/ http://westseattleblog.com/2017/04/video-what-police-told-last-nights-west-seattle-crime-prevention-council-meeting-about-recent-gunfire-incidents-and-more/#comments Wed, 19 Apr 2017 18:34:31 +0000 http://westseattleblog.com/?p=880415

Despite the overnight gunfire spree hours earlier, turnout was low at last night’s West Seattle Crime Prevention Council meeting, so we recorded highlights on video. Above is what precinct commander Capt. Pierre Davis told attendees; below, special guest Officer James Ritter, talking about the SPD Safe Place program, which has now been adopted by more than 50 cities across the country.

Toplines: Capt. Davis said a multi-city/multi-agency task force is working on the gunfire situation, which has seen recent incidents in South Park as well as West Seattle (SP also is part of the SW Precinct’s jurisdiction). None of the WS incidents have resulted in injuries – so far; the precinct is working with special teams including the Gang Unit and SWAT and trying to get more officers out on patrol to try to get ahead of the problem. They are working to identify potential suspects who might be from out of the area – he mentioned Kent, Renton, Federal Way – but spending time with family in this area.

Also, as he has mentioned at other recent community meetings including the West Seattle Chamber of Commerce lunch last week (WSB coverage here), Capt. Davis said shoplifting is spiking and the Community Police Team is working with business owners (and, when necessary, contacting out-of-town corporate ownership) to help them prevent it.

And yes, they’re gearing up for the warm-weather crowds at Alki and elsewhere.

One more bit of news: Southwest/South Precinct Liaison city attorney Matthew York is leaving that job after almost three years – he’s just been appointed to an open judge position in King County District Court’s southeast division.

P.S. As mentioned again in today’s preview, if you’re on-peninsula and interested in talking with/hearing from police, you’re welcome at West Seattle’s first Coffee with a Cop event at the Junction Starbucks (SE corner of California/Alaska), 1-2:30 pm.

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@ West Seattle Crime Prevention Council: Community concerns; ‘active shooter’ survival advice http://westseattleblog.com/2017/02/west-seattle-crime-prevention-council-community-concerns-active-shooter-survival-advice/ http://westseattleblog.com/2017/02/west-seattle-crime-prevention-council-community-concerns-active-shooter-survival-advice/#comments Wed, 22 Feb 2017 23:09:06 +0000 http://westseattleblog.com/?p=875064
(From left, Southwest Precinct Lt. Ron Smith, Capt. Pierre Davis, and West Seattle Crime Prevention Council president Richard Miller)

By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

For those interested in more alerts about repeat offenders (like the ones we wrote about last weekend) – police might soon be sharing that kind of information publicly.

That was one revelation from last night’s West Seattle Crime Prevention Council meeting, along with a guest presentation about what to do in case of an “active shooter” situation.

More than 25 people were at the WSCPC’s monthly meeting at the Southwest Precinct, including two groups of neighbors from areas of North Delridge and Puget Ridge. Here’s how it unfolded:

CRIME TRENDS: “We’ve arrested a significant amount of people out there,” began precinct commander Capt. Pierre Davis. Much of the property crime is linked to drug use, he noted, because users need to get money and “just don’t care.” So “don’t leave valuables in your car,” he reminded people. That would “help us out” in terms of discouraging criminals.

(Moments before we published this report, two flyers with related SPD crime-prevention advice came in:
Car-prowl prevention advice is here; auto-theft prevention advice is here.)

And make sure your valuables are identifiable, in case they are stolen (by burglary, for example). He mentioned repeat offenders, saying “we’re ready to start putting their faces out to the general public … so you guys can see exactly what these individuals are up to and what they look like … they don’t like it, they’ve told us they don’t like it … we’re going to ramp it up.”

Police also are continuing to work with prosecutors to get repeat offenders charged with as much as feasible, especially via the Repeat Burglar Initiative and similar initiatives for auto thefts, burglaries, and car prowling. Also, “we’re trying to get some services for these people so they can get some help at the same time.” As always, he urged people, “When you see something, say something.” They’re tracking crime by neighborhood and distributing trend info to “all of our three watches” (shifts of officers), Capt. Davis said. He also again mentioned the new full-time bicycle squad, as well as the “09 car – a police unit, sometimes plainclothes” not tied to 911 responses, assigned to be proactive and “stopping and arresting everything that needs to be stopped and arrested.”

COMMUNITY COMMENTS, CONCERNS, Q & A: The North Delridge residents said they came because someone on their block has many “bad things” going on – drugs, child abuse, trash on the property, the house itself “falling down” – and said they’ve called repeatedly about it. Capt. Davis asked the address and said that they can follow up and they might well find that something’s already under way – maybe abatement or something else via the City Attorney’s Office.

“Many times our community members don’t always know what’s going on with a specific residence …” He also mentioned the precinct liaison for the CAO, Matthew York, might be able to help, and promised to make contact with him.

One Puget Ridge resident brought up a shots-fired incident they’d heard about, in which a delivery person reported being been shot at near the 16th/Holden 7-11 in Highland Park a month or two ago, and subsequently quit his job. Capt. Davis hadn’t heard of something like that but asked for more information so he could look into it.

Another Puget Ridge resident said a recent community cleanup had uncovered discarded needles/syringes in multiple spots, and Capt. Davis expressed interest in the specific locations. Yet another person from Puget Ridge brought concerns about illegal dumping; they were pointed to the Community Police Team (contact info is on the Southwest Precinct website) for assessment and followup.

“How do you even dispose of (needles/syringes)?” the resident asked.

Capt. Davis said he hesitated to advise even trying to do that, because of the “cocktail” of drugs that would have to be taken if someone got accidentally jabbed by a needle. It’s happened to some of his officers, he said. So, call police, he advised, and “we’ll get somebody out there.”

Next question: What’s being done about unsanctioned encampments, particularly near the Duwamish River?

Capt. Davis mentioned Community Police Team Officer Todd Wiebke‘s role as “lead person” on encampment-related issues. For example, he said, they’ve been towing RVs, but the motor homes and encampments are “migratory” and keep moving around. He mentioned the city’s ongoing move to sanction Camp Second Chance on Myers Way, but that won’t handle the whole problem. Among other things police are doing, he said, they’re working to identify who’s accountable for which site where people are camping – on Myers Way, for example, some of the land is state-owned, some is city-owned. Citywide, he noted, there’s a new “navigation team” with a sergeant and eight officers to work on the situation. More are needed to “take care of the problem throughout the whole city,” he observed, “but it’s a start.”

“We’re the only precinct that’s towing RV’s,” added Operations Lt. Ron Smith.

Another resident reported hearing gunshots several recent nights. “We’re looking for a pattern” when investigating, Capt. Davis said. The resident said it seems to be happening off the arterials, as compared to previous incidents.

“With every shots-fired call that comes into the 911 center, that’s tracked .. We have a detective and that’s all she does” citywide. “The problem is not as plentiful as it used to be – certain individuals and residences had been responsible … we’ve done some things (to deal with them) and a lot of that activity has gone by the wayside,” he said. Recent incidents have not yielded any “clear information” about the source of the noise. And sometimes, Davis said, “it’s fireworks … our officers (see it firsthand).”

“They weren’t fireworks,” the resident retorted.

Another resident mentioned suspicious activity near his house, with a large number of cars visiting at times. He said he had “sent online messages” sometimes when things happen. That’s not enough, said Capt. Davis – call 911 if something is happening now. “Break-ins, stuff like that – I want to have that information right now,” he stressed. Sometimes they’ll come up with a piece of evidence that leads them to many other people, Davis elaborated, mentioning the case of a laptop that turned out to have data that was “like a clown car” of information about other criminals/troublemakers spilling out.

How are police dealing with immigrants concerned about new federal initiatives? asked one person, saying they have a lot of immigrant friends who are scared.

If someone is committing a crime, Capt. Davis said, their background will be revealed, there’s no way around that. But otherwise, police are not asking about people’s statuses, and they haven’t “for many administrations.”

Next question: If you send police video and photos – what happens to it? asked one attendee. The department is working on more clearly defining lines of possession, said Lt. Smith.

SPECIAL GUEST – ACTIVE SHOOTER: Two SPD training officers, Edward Anderson and Leroy Outlaw, came out to present information – and discovered that they couldn’t bring up their fancy slide deck. Nonetheless, they gave a compelling hour-long presentation with no visual aids but a whiteboard and short video.

“When you think active shooter, don’t always think it’s going to be a firearm” – there’ve been slashing massacres. “They’re starting to use the term ‘active assailant’ but ‘active shooter’ is the term people recognize the most.”

“If you have more than one suspect in the incident,” said Anderson, “that indicates a much higher level of planning” – think Columbine. “Troubling enough, but we know suspects are actually learning from … the suspects (that committed such crimes) before them. … They get very detailed, almost down to a military level of logistics.”

They happen in various categories – 60 percent of the time it’s an “internal threat ..some connection with that suspect to that location.” 30 percent, no connection. 10 percent, “ideologically driven” – true terrorism, with a political/religious/etc. motivation.

402 Americans killed in active-shooter incidents, 190 people injured, in the last decade in the U.S., said Anderson. One active-shooter incident happens every 13 days or so, on average. It doesn’t take death to define something as an active-shooter incident – Outlaw talked about an incident where a troubled student had taken a family gun and gone to his school but had been stopped because his parents discovered he and the gun were gone and went to the school and stopped him before anything happened.

Getting police on a “priority 1” call takes on average 7 minutes. A majority of active-shooter incidents takeless time than that. So if it happens and you are there – you are the “first responder,” said the SPD trainers.

Increasing your chances of survival: Pre-planning, situational awareness, actions during the incident.

Outlaw said some of this information also applies to what happens if a natural disaster strikes, and other situations.

Your escape plan “is only as good as your castle walls are strong,” said Anderson, noting that the Sandy Hook murderer managed to get through a door/window because of his small size, an entryway that someone might not have considered a security threat.

Situational awareness is important – “Is ‘spider sense’ real?” asked Anderson. “Yes. Don’t be paranoid, but be vigilant … If it feels wrong, it probably is.”

If you think something’s going on, report it and then get out of there “as quickly as possible.”

If you are responsible for a place of business, a school, etc. – “keep your staff up to date as much as possible.”

Next: What to do during an incident.

“When you make a threat assessment, don’t do it by risking yourself” – don’t run back in the building to get a better description for 911, for example. If you can get descriptions to 911, how many shooters is the most important thing for starters. Tell others to get out, if you and they can. If you can, use lawful/reasonable force to protect yourself and others. The officers asked if anyone in the room had a concealed-weapons permit – one person raised his hand. “How do we engage (with you) when we get (to the scene)? We’ve heard a guy has a gun in the mall … but you (guy with permit) might still have your gun in your hand when we get there. … We tell people, ‘don’t be Chuck Norris, get out’.” Anderson offered to talk with the permitholder afterward about ways to engage with law enforcement if he ever winds up in that situation.

Outlaw said that even though he’s a trained officer – if something happens while he’s there, off-duty, with his family, his job is to get them and himself out. “It’s not your fight … be selfish. Your job is to get out.”

Anderson said that when uniformed officers respond to these situations … 50 percent of the time they get shot. He mentioned the 2005 Tacoma Mall shooting, in which someone, armed, tried to stop the shooter and got shot and paralyzed. “Action’s always going to be reaction, no matter what you do.” If you haven’t been able to get away, “think about distraction.” One attendee mentioned the possibility of using a fire extinguisher for that.

Another attendee pointed out the importance of scoping out the exits when you go somewhere, so you won’t be wasting precious time looking for them if something bad happens.

“Limiting your exposure” – concealment or cover, hiding behind something, and/or getting behind something that will stop the threat that’s possibly heading your way.

At this point, they showed this 6-minute Houston-produced video titled “Run, Hide, Fight”:

Those are the three things that could make a difference in your survival if something happens where you are, said the video, which presented a scenario of someone walking into a business and opening fire.

“Remember what’s important – you, not your stuff – leave your belongings behind and try to get out safely.” Once you’re out, keep others from entering the danger zone, and call 911 “when you’re safe.”

If you can’t get out, actions to take include:

*Turn out the lights
*Silence your phone
*Hide behind large objects
*Stay very quiet

And as a last resort, fight back:

*Attempt to incapacitate the shooter
*Act with physical agggression
*Improvise weapons

(Watch the whole video to benefit from all of its advice.)

Keep in mind that the first responders are not there to evacuate or tend to the injured, they’re trying to find the shooter. But once they show up, they will be in big numbers – “Eleven law-enforcement agencies are in uniform in Seattle in any given day,” Anderson said. The 2006 Jewish Federation shooting in Seattle was responded to by nine of them, he noted.

“Neutralizing the shooter means he gives up or we shoot him” – when lives have been taken and/or are at risk, it’s not a time to negotiate. And once the shooter is “neutralized,” the officers are working to clear the incident.

What can you expect to see on police entry? Overwhelming noise and light, for starters – maybe flash grenades – high-powered flashlight “even if the building is lit up” – you’re going to hear verbal commands. “If you have something to say at that point, trust me, they’re not going to hear you.” The officers’ adrenaline is running high, especially on arrival, he reminded everyone. The officers will be in “fast-moving formation.” One interesting bit of advice: Don’t point, if you feel you have something you must communicate to police – keep in mind they’re still trying to sort out the situation. Don’t try to grab an officer, even if you’re trying to get attention for an injury or something else. “You will be seen as a threat until we know otherwise, period. That’s the way it is,” emphasized Anderson.

“Don’t take it personal if they point a gun at you,” said Outlaw.

*Keep your hands high and visible
*Obey commands
*Do not enter the (officers’) formation (which are usually very tight so they literally have each other’s back)
*Once the situation has stabilized somewhat, don’t be surprised if police ask you to help out – maybe take a group of people out of the building, for example

No stereotypes any more for who’s an active shooter – “they’re every color of the rainbow” and the number of women is rising, the officers said, particularly in “teams” such as the 2015 San Bernardino massacre in California.

Wherever you are, “that place is going to become a crime scene … depending on (factors including) the body count, it may become a federal crime scene …” and might remain closed for a long time as a result.

If you survive one of these incidents, you are going to be hit with media requests … think of how you are going to deal with that, and how – if you are responsible for people – to get them away from people trying to stick microphones in their faces.

Added Outlaw – while police are working, “don’t be tweeting about what we’re doing … give us that moment to work, and then afterward (talk about it if you have to) but please please, not while we’re working.”

If you have to take the third advice – fight – “fight like you’re the third monkey trying to get on the ark and it’s starting to rain.”

But don’t dwell on all this too much … you’re more likely to get killed in a car crash than in an active-shooter incident, summarized Anderson. Just be aware, and informed – and that’s what the officers were there last night to help with.

The West Seattle Crime Prevention Council meets on third Tuesdays most months, 7 pm, at the Southwest Precinct. We usually get word of each month’s guest at least a week in advance and publicize it as part of WSB Crime Watch coverage.

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@ West Seattle Crime Prevention Council: Patroling for prowlers; stabbing-case concerns http://westseattleblog.com/2017/01/west-seattle-crime-prevention-council-patroling-for-prowlers-stabbing-case-concerns/ http://westseattleblog.com/2017/01/west-seattle-crime-prevention-council-patroling-for-prowlers-stabbing-case-concerns/#comments Thu, 19 Jan 2017 06:23:32 +0000 http://westseattleblog.com/?p=871065 Toplines from last night’s West Seattle Crime Prevention Council meeting: The Southwest Precinct has new bicycle officers who, among other things, are tasked with patroling for car prowlers. That’s still the biggest crime problem in our area, so the precinct is hopeful this is a new way of making a dent in it.

As always, the heart of the meeting was the opportunity for attendees to discuss neighborhood crime/safety concerns. Most of the three dozen or so attendees were there because of concerns related to last Thursday’s stabbing (WSB coverage here) at a house in the 6700 block of 18th SW on Puget Ridge.

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(WSB photo, last Thursday)

The suspect is still at large, confirmed precinct commander Capt. Pierre Davis, and the investigation continues. Some attendees who identified themselves as parents and PTA members at nearby Sanislo Elementary wanted to know why the school hadn’t been in lockdown while police were searching that afternoon. Capt. Davis said he and Operations Lt. Ron Smith would see what they could find out about how that decision was made.

Others pointed out that this wasn’t the first trouble at the house in question, reminding police that it had been brought up at a Crime Prevention Council meeting about a year and a half ago. Taking action against “nuisance houses” is not a fast process, Lt. Smith noted, saying the precinct is aware this is a trouble spot. Community Police Team Officer Jon Flores will be out to talk to neighbors, he promised, to figure out what steps can be taken next.

The scheduled guest for the meeting, scheduled to talk about “active shooter” situations, was a no-show. So that made extra time for the community-concerns discussion. Next WSCPC meeting is set for February 21st, 7 pm, at the precinct (2300 SW Webster).

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What to do in an ‘active shooter’ situation? Find out at Tuesday’s West Seattle Crime Prevention Council http://westseattleblog.com/2017/01/what-to-do-in-an-active-shooter-situation-find-out-at-tuesdays-west-seattle-crime-prevention-council/ http://westseattleblog.com/2017/01/what-to-do-in-an-active-shooter-situation-find-out-at-tuesdays-west-seattle-crime-prevention-council/#comments Sat, 14 Jan 2017 19:48:32 +0000 http://westseattleblog.com/?p=870706 Just in from Richard Miller, president of the West Seattle Crime Prevention Council – the plan for its meeting next Tuesday (7 pm, January 17th):

As always, Southwest Precinct police will be there with updates on local crime trends and the chance for you to ask about/bring up neighborhood concerns. And a special guest has just been confirmed: SPD Officer Edward Anderson, a Firearms and Tactics instructor who “will lead an interactive active-shooter-mitigation presentation.” This will be the shorter version of the presentation, about an hour including 15 minutes for questions, shorter than the full version, but worth your time to come hear from an expert. All are welcome at the meeting, which is in the community room at the precinct (2300 SW Webster), right off the parking lot.

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CANCELED: Tomorrow’s West Seattle Crime Prevention Council meeting http://westseattleblog.com/2016/11/canceled-tomorrows-west-seattle-crime-prevention-council-meeting/ Tue, 15 Nov 2016 04:34:51 +0000 http://westseattleblog.com/?p=864940 Most months, the third Tuesday brings the West Seattle Crime Prevention Council meeting, an opportunity to bring neighborhood concerns to local police, to get updates on local crime trends, and to hear from a guest speaker on a crime-related issue. Not this month, though – WSCPC president Richard Miller has canceled tomorrow’s meeting while recovering from an injury. The group doesn’t usually meet in December, so that means the next scheduled meeting is Tuesday, January 17th.

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@ West Seattle Crime Prevention Council: Trends & training http://westseattleblog.com/2016/10/west-seattle-crime-prevention-council-trends-training/ http://westseattleblog.com/2016/10/west-seattle-crime-prevention-council-trends-training/#comments Thu, 20 Oct 2016 00:38:03 +0000 http://westseattleblog.com/?p=861468 From last night’s West Seattle Crime Prevention Council meeting:


(Past week of reported car prowls, from SPD police-report map)

SOUTHWEST PRECINCT UPDATE: Car prowls remain “the crime of the day,” and “we attribute it to the drug use that’s out there,” began Southwest Precinct commander Capt. Pierre Davis. A resident of an apartment building north of Morgan Junction said that they’ve had two car prowls in the past month and have found needles in the alley – “what are we supposed to do?” A discussion ensued about whether, if spotting a car prowl in progress, residents should try to detain the prowler themselves. With the caveat that “we’re not your lawyer,” the general advice was no – “you never know who you’re dealing with,” Capt. Davis observed.

Another attendee said her area of Puget Ridge has been hit “19 times in two weeks,” including bicycle thefts, emergency kits stolen from porches. But she said most probably hadn’t been reported.

“People don’t want to file a report because they know nothing’s going to be done,” another attendee declared. “File the report,” retorted Operations Lt. Ron Smith, “because we need to know what’s happening. … You can be frustrated, we’re frustrated.” File a report online, file it by phone, just file it. Officers might find a fingerprint and then be able to make an arrest, Capt. Davis noted. Lt. Smith reminded people that one single car prowler can hit 15 times in a night. When they got a barrage of reports from one particular place – The Junction was one, Highland Park was another – they focused resources, and that made a difference.

“Statistics drive resources,” added precinct liaison Matthew York from the City Attorney’s Office. Reports drive the records, which drive the officers, which drive the money, “that’s why they’re important.” And policing takes resources – on Tuesday night, for example, precinct brass pointed out, there are 11 officers on duty in all of the Southwest Precinct, from South Park to Roxhill to The Arroyos to Alki.

Lately, Capt. Davis said, they’ve been arresting people “who come from clear outside the city to do their burglarizing,” and they’re working with prosecutors to try to get them “more hard time” once arrested. They also have knowledge, cyclically, of which crimes become more of an issue at which time of year – and longer nights mean more car prowls, for examples. So they are again stressing, don’t leave ANYTHING in your vehicles – some people keep leaving laptops, guns, etc., and professional car prowlers know the picking will be good.

The Puget Ridge resident said, what about a house where there seems to be a pile of bikes under a tarp and it’s growing, and they wonder, do police know about that? Capt. Davis said they’d appreciate tips, but of course they also need “probable cause” to go after someone or someplace.

Getting the word out about crimes is good too – Capt. Davis mentioned a stolen car reported on WSB, and a citizen spotting it, and it getting recovered and prints of a frequent offender taken off it, too.

A belated round of “around-the-room introductions” followed, and one attendee was from Westwood Village management, which led to some discussion of problems in that area, including shoplifting, and how it can turn into a case of robbery if the shoplifter uses force.

‘WHAT’S HAPPENING AT THE POLICE ACADEMY TODAY’: Rex Caldwell was the featured guest, from the Washington State Criminal Justice Training Commission (whose training center is in Burien). He says the 744th class at our state’s law-enforcement-training academy started earlier in the day. Caldwell, a retired officer, says it was a 400-hour academy “back in the day,” and now it’s 720 hours, “roughly 19 weeks. … Some say it sounds like a lot, but some say it’s nowhere near enough.” And that’s just part of the process between hiring and getting an officer out on the street – a process that costs $100,000, “a big investment.”

The training model changed in 2012, said Caldwell. It’s no longer “boot camp” style, but includes training to “develop critical thinking and decision-making skills,” as well as to “instill values that lead to ethical self-regulation in the use of power,” and to “improve public trust.” Now, Caldwell said, they “seek the right combination of Pete Carroll and Chesty Puller.” (If you don’t recognize the name either – here you go.)

They’ve moved away from “memorizing checklists and procedures,” Caldwell’s presentation noted.

Public trust is vital, but for a variety of reasons – some well-publicized, some not – “after decades of falling crime rates, and improved tools and training, public trust and support of the police has not improved.”

Training has changed, he stressed – they now infuse the curriculum with behavioral and social-science programs, and “mock scenes” have been “re-engineered.”

What DIDN’T change about police work?

*Physical/mental stress is still high
*Rules/codes of conduct strictly upheld
*Defensive tactics standards tightened up, incrased drills, integration with communication, de-escalation
*Firearms training enhanced with SIRT pistols (laser-integrated), “focus on combat shooting rather than targets”

Policing can be a “full-contact sport,” Caldwell said. “It’s not guardians instead of warriors … we have not abandoned the warrior…” but at heart, “we are guardians, here to protect our cities, our communities, our residents.” He says they’re in the second year of a five-year study with a Seattle University researcher, and hope to change the police culture.

280 officers are in training right now and the academy is still crowded – 10 percent of our state’s 11,000+ officers are eligible for retirement right now – to make room for increased Seattle training, it’ll take some changing, he said.

Also: While in training, they tend to lose “one or two per class,” Caldwell said. Then some others may wash out once back with “the agency” that hired them. They train every police department in the state except the State Patrol, which has its own training center. They also teach 911 dispatchers.

Next meeting of the West Seattle Crime Prevention Council is 7 pm Tuesday, November 15th, at the Southwest Precinct.

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New #1 car-prowl hotspot, student bullying, and more, @ West Seattle Crime Prevention Council: http://westseattleblog.com/2016/09/new-1-car-prowl-hotspot-student-bullying-and-more-west-seattle-crime-prevention-council/ http://westseattleblog.com/2016/09/new-1-car-prowl-hotspot-student-bullying-and-more-west-seattle-crime-prevention-council/#comments Wed, 21 Sep 2016 21:00:50 +0000 http://westseattleblog.com/?p=858371 By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

Toplines from last night’s West Seattle Crime Prevention Council meeting at the Southwest Precinct, first one since June:

SUMMER SYNOPSIS: “For the most part, we didn’t have it that bad,” SW Precinct commander Capt. Pierre Davis began. He mentioned Alki as a hotspot, as usual; beyond a couple of high-profile incidents, the more-common problems included some motorcycle trouble, but “each and every time one of our officers would get behind one of the (motorcycle offenders), they would take off” (at high speed) – and SPD policy prohibits pursuing them. They did have some “emphasis patrols” which kept troublemakers from “that big of a foothold down there.” Otherwise, “nothing out of the norm” but he still wishes they’d had “better responses” and so they will review this year in hopes of doing a better job next year.

They’re looking with the help of City Attorney’s Office precinct liaison Matthew York at new speeding/cruising rules for Alki – “if we’re successful there, that’ll be an added tool for us … keep your fingers crossed.” (We are following up onthis.) Capt. Davis said York also had been “instrumental” in working on the speed-bump plan for Beach Drive by Constellation Park (here’s our update from last Saturday).

CURRENT CRIME TRENDS: Property crimes are worsening “cyclically” as the holiday season approaches, Capt. Davis said. The “huge drug epidemic” is worsening things right now, he said. Many of those they’ve been arresting are repeat offenders – “we might get them for one or two crimes, but our effort is to connect them with many more” when warranted, in hopes of that resulting in longer sentences.”We’re never going to arrest our way out of this problem… but we have to make sure we have a strong enforcement component, and a treatment component as well.” Neighborhoods that are current hotspots:

*The Junction
*Roxhill/Westwood Village (an area of particular emphasis over the summer, with plans to clear some of the brushy areas)

Precinct Operations Lt. Ron Smith said they’d put a lot of pressure on car prowl trouble spots in Highland Park, and so the problem has shifted to other areas, with the Anti-Crime Team (1 sergeant, six officers, sometimes working in plainclothes) planning to follow. HP is no longer the #1 car prowl area – an area east of The Junction is. “It’s an uphill battle; we’re trying to fight this with the resources we have,” said Lt. Smith. But he said, “give them a month” and they’ll “move somewhere else.” York said at that point that the City Attorney’s Office is focusing on car-prowl convictions because it can help pile up “points” on an offender’s record, even though they are misdemeanors.”If they’re breaking into cars they’re probably also stealing cars too.”

Capt. Davis added that they’re collaborating with the King County Sheriff’s Office on the city/county “border” trouble. That can be a challenge, Lt. Smith said, given the KCSO’s resource crunch, but they pay attention to what’s going on on both sides of the line.

“We’re looking at our encampment issues as well,” Capt. Davis, because those can be related to a “nexus” of crime and other trouble. Overall, “it’s a busy time for us.” But “the biggest thing that helps us out is when people call 911 – not enough people are doing it – if you see somebody doing something suspicious, make that call.” And if a crime has just happened, call, he said … the sooner they can get officers there, the sooner they can look for evidence like surveillance video. “I’m telling you, they really hit us hard this summer.” They’re working on a “directed patrol plan” as a result.

Back to the encampment issue, Lt. Smith reiterated that one Community Police Team officer is assigned specifically to that issue. If there’s criminal activity, they’ll pursue it; if it’s someone who “needs help,” they’ll pursue outreach. He said he had visited a Myers Way encampment that WSDOT would be “moving out” soon because “it’s not safe. … We enforce the rules that we are allowed to enforce in the city of Seattle.”

At that point, an attendee asked what to do if someone seems to be living out of an RV on her block. “Call CPT Officer Todd Wiebke,” Lt. Smith said. (He’s been off for a few days but will be back on duty later this week, he added.) He said that City Hall policies dictate how they deal with campers – if there is a group of three or more, they have to get outreach involved. But single campers can be contacted and asked to move, as with one found in Rotary Viewpoint Park recently, Lt. Smith said. He added that the organized encampment on the Myers Way Parcels, Camp Second Chance, was being allowed to stay for a while.

In response to a followup question about the RVs, it was suggested that they contact Parking Enforcement, since they legally can’t be on most streets between midnight and 8 am. While York said there’s a “hold” on some encampment actions right now in the city, there’s no hold on vehicle-camping enforcement so far as he knows. Capt. Davis, meantime, recapped the city’s shelved plan to create an RV “safe lot” at W. Marginal Way and Highland Park Way, and the holding zone the precinct set up for a while by the entrance to the Myers Way Parcels, where they were providing social-services outreach … complicated by others showing up “from outside the area.” What they’re doing now, he said, is basically trying to keep campers “out of residential areas.”

Lt. Smith mentioned a citywide interdepartmental meeting within the past week. “What realization we came to … this homeless issue is not a law-enforcement issue; it goes beyond what we’re capable of dealing with. If there’s a criminal issue, we’ll deal with it, but (otherwise) we don’t have the resources to deal with it.” The rules keep changing, he said. “As it stands right now, we’re just standing by to make sure no one gets hurt.”

Talk turned back to the opioid-addiction problem underlying so much of this, and how difficult it is to help people get off those drugs – it’s not just something you can kick cold-turkey style, York explained, saying that the current enforcement movement is looking at the supply side rather than the demand side.

COMMUNITY CONCERNS: One woman raised an issue about youth – primarily tweens and young teens – who had been causing problems in her neighborhood, including threatens of violence, and an officer that she didn’t feel was taking it seriously enough. Capt. Davis gave her his card; Lt. Smith said that any citizen has the right to talk to talk to a supervisor. You can do that through 911 but you also can call the precinct and ask to talk with a sergeant.

A man mentioned drug use/trafficking on 13th SW north of Roxbury. He said he often calls in problems and does get responses, but “there’s just constant activity” along a staircase toward the end of his street.

STAFFING: How’s the push for increased police staffing going? asked WSCPC president Richard Miller. “Getting better,” said Capt. Davis. “For our precinct, we’re starting to get to where we need to be, but it just doesn’t happen fast enough. You heard the mayor say we’re going to hire 200 … if we had those 200 individuals in the academy tomorrow, that’s a year (of training and other work), and a lot of things can happen in a year,” including attrition such as retirement. “We’re looking OK … not perfect, but OK.”

It’s more like two years of training, passing the physical, going to the state academy – and waiting for openings there – Lt. Smith added.

FEATURED GUEST: Lisa Love, who manages health education in Seattle Public Schools, was at the meeting to talk about harassment, bullying, and other challenges faced by students. She asked attendees to talk with each other about their experiences, and then she turned the conversation to what it’s like in schools now – family dynamics, styles of punishment (or lack of it), social media, and more. She and others noted that the challenges also are posed by a culture where people seem to “get away with that behavior … much as we hide behind technology to do so.”

Right now in SPS, she said they are dealing with state law mandating having policies and procedures in place for dealing with bullying and harassment. “What’s not as clear is a (policy) saying what’s being taught at (certain grade levels),” so that is at a district’s discretion.”As you can imagine, every school has its own culture and feel … Many schools are deciding, as a school, how they are going to address anti-bullying content.” As a district, she said, they are shifting to a recognizing that “the whole child is important … we recognize that even though the primary goal of the school is educational,” they have to address other issues – such as bullying and conflict and social skills – because they can get in the way of readiness for learning. So they are working on defining what’s developmentally appropriate along those lines.

“One framework we’re using is Positive Behavior Intervention Systems – to say, how are we making relationships with kids a priority, talking about their strengths” so the discussions aren’t entirely punitive. Talking about emotions, about what’s happening, is really important so that kids can learn about self-regulation “instead of simply outbursts and punitive response.”

She said this doesn’t mean there aren’t consequences for bad behavior – “if you throw a chair across the room” – but for something like “backtalk,” rather than sending somebody home for the day “because that’s not necessarily punishment,” they will come up with something that “keeps kids engaged in school … but not sending them away.” When it’s child-to-child conflict “that needs to be addressed,” there will be documentation, “a plan for the victim’s safety,” and other components of dealing with it.

“What advice would you give a parent about talking to your child about not becoming a target?” asked the one attendee who mentioned currently having a child in SPS.

Love’s suggestions:

*NetSmartz for online

*Role-play with your kids – she said she does that almost nightly with her own kids

*Practice many ways of telling kids how to get help if they need it

In response to another question, she acknowledged that children will often hide the fact they’re being bullied or harassed, since there’s such a culture of shame around it. They might find ways to come to class early or late to avoid interacting with the bully … “there are all kinds of ways that kids are strategizing all day long about their safety.”

Another issue: A lot of bullying happens around transportation to school – are bus drivers being trained?

Yes, they are, Love said. There’s some online training when they’re hired, for starters, and they have access to the reporting system, and this comes up at staff trainings, too.

The West Seattle Crime Prevention Council meets third Tuesdays, 7 pm, at the Southwest Precinct.

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West Seattle Crime Watch: Garage break-in attempts; WSCPC reminder http://westseattleblog.com/2016/09/west-seattle-crime-watch-garage-break-in-attempts-wscpc-reminder/ Tue, 20 Sep 2016 05:33:39 +0000 http://westseattleblog.com/?p=858278 Two West Seattle Crime Watch notes tonight:

ATTEMPTED GARAGE BURGLARIES: From Darren, who lives in an Alki townhome complex near 60th and Admiral: “Last night someone attempted to break into 3 of our neighbors’ garages (after 7 pm, as one of our neighbors didn’t notice damage to his garage when he was taking garbage and recycling out to the curb). They didn’t get in but did some damage to the doors. Our neighbor who reported it to the police isn’t able to open her garage now as the damage affected the sensor.” SPD case number is 16-339756.

CRIME PREVENTION COUNCIL TOMORROW: One last mention before the Tuesday highlight list – the West Seattle Crime Prevention Council returns from summer hiatus tomorrow night. 7 pm Tuesday at the Southwest Precinct (2300 SW Webster), bring your neighborhood concerns to local police, and hear from them about local crime trends. Plus, this month’s special guest is Lisa Love, manager of Health Education for Seattle Public Schools, who WSCPC president Richard Miller says will “discuss the topic of harassment, intimidation and bullying in our schools.”

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West Seattle Crime Watch: Stolen car; stolen package; prevention bulletins; next WSCPC meeting… http://westseattleblog.com/2016/09/west-seattle-crime-watch-stolen-car-stolen-package-prevention-bulletins-next-wscpc-meeting/ http://westseattleblog.com/2016/09/west-seattle-crime-watch-stolen-car-stolen-package-prevention-bulletins-next-wscpc-meeting/#comments Wed, 14 Sep 2016 22:43:30 +0000 http://westseattleblog.com/?p=857750 More West Seattle Crime Watch notes this afternoon:

STOLEN CAR: Morgan‘s car was stolen last night or early today – “My car was stolen from my driveway (corner of 108th and 37th Ave SW [map]): 2016 Honda Fit, Cobra Drivers seat (says COBRA on the headrest) and license-frame bracket that says Seahawks Season ticket holder. WA plates — AYZ9219.” Call 911 if you see it.

STOLEN PACKAGE: In a comment following today’s first Crime Watch report, Chelsea reported a package theft near California and Dakota [map] and included this link to images from a security camera.

CRIME-PREVENTION ADVICE: The Southwest Precinct e-mailed two “bulletins” today with general advice on what you can do to prevent/reduce burglaries and car prowls – read them as PDFs here (burglaries) and here (car prowls).

NEXT WEST SEATTLE CRIME PREVENTION COUNCIL MEETING: WSCPC meetings resume this month – they are your chance to come hear about crime trends from, bring neighborhood concerns to, and ask questions of, Southwest Precinct reps, as well as special guests. WSCPC president Richard Miller tells WSB that the 7 pm meeting next Tuesday (September 20th) will feature “Lisa Love, manager, Health Education, Seattle Public Schools, to discuss the topic of harassment, intimidation, and bullying in our schools.” The meeting is at the precinct (2300 SW Webster).

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State of 911, plus local crime trends, @ West Seattle Crime Prevention Council http://westseattleblog.com/2016/06/state-of-911-plus-local-crime-trends-west-seattle-crime-prevention-council/ http://westseattleblog.com/2016/06/state-of-911-plus-local-crime-trends-west-seattle-crime-prevention-council/#comments Thu, 23 Jun 2016 00:45:25 +0000 http://westseattleblog.com/?p=848378 From last night’s West Seattle Crime Prevention Council meeting at the Southwest Precinct, last one until September:

CAPTAIN’S BRIEFING: Southwest Precinct commander Capt. Pierre Davis opened with the declaration that a “grandiose state of car prowling is happening in our neck of the woods” – The Junction, Highland Park, and South Park are the hardest-hit spots right now. He implored people to PLEASE not leave ANYTHING in their cars – if thieves stop scoring stuff, they’ll stop trying. “We don’t want to make it lucrative for these guys to keep doing what they’re doing.” Without naming names, he mentioned that some prolific suspects have been caught. “We want to keep the pressure up throughout the whole summer.”

He said the shots-fired issues are under scrutiny as well. “Some of them have a nexus toward certain houses, or friends that they visit … these guys are riding cars, coming from (different areas, north to east to south) … if you hear it, make sure you call it in, so we can get the appropriate types of response out there.” Arrests tend to “make a lot of that activity go away,” he said. “Timely and accurate reporting is the key to a lot of this stuff … sometimes we don’t get the information until maybe the next day, which is not good enough … it’s a lot harder than … right when that stuff is happening. Load 911 up so they can get all that good information out to our officers.” He said that things in Puget Ridge/Pigeon Point had quieted down – traffic-wise as well – after emphasis patrols. One PR resident verified that. Capt. Davis said that with the 4th of July approaching, there’ll be some fireworks/gunshots confusing, but still call it in. “Sometimes we get there and it is fireworks … sometimes we get there and we find shell casings … exercise due diligence, make that 911 call.”

Next topic, burglaries:

“Exercise care and caution” during summertime when you leave doors and windows open – don’t leave them open if you leave for the store, you might get targeted even if you’re gone for just a short time – and even when you are home, consider “partial locking mechanisms” that will enable you to leave them partway open.

Nuisance/vacant houses are a hot topic right now, too, Capt. Davis said, echoed by the precinct liaison from the City Attorney’s Office, Matthew York. He said that directive has come down from the mayor’s office.

Asked about the precinct’s dealings with people experiencing homelessness, he said that campers known to be “involved with the criminal element” are being “asked to leave.” As for those living in the greenbelts such as those along Myers Way, he said that’s a difficult multi-jurisdiction “dance.”

Asked about last Friday night’s strong-arm robbery at 31st and Myrtle (reported here), he didn’t have information handy, but he did then subsequently bring up the Trader Joe’s parking-lot theft that happened several hours before the meeting. We asked about the victim telling us police said a similar incident happened within the past week elsewhere in the area; precinct liaison York had a bit of information about it, saying it happened early in the morning in a church parking lot where some people had been sleeping, and that the thief/thieves rode up on bicycles, but he had no further information, such as location.

An attendee brought up the drivers that take over Don Armeni Boat Ramp‘s parking lot on some days, and the noise and safety issues they generate. “It happens 24 hours a day,” she said. “I get woken up in the middle of the night by backfiring cars and screeching tires. … It’s multiple cars.” Capt. Davis promised to get somebody on the case; the attendee said that she had tried to contact a Community Police Team officer who turned out to be on leave. Picking up on the theme, another attendee said that Hamilton Viewpoint Park also has the same problem. Alki was briefly discussed; one man who said he lives near Whale Tail Park said he took issue with troublemakers there being referred to as “kids,” while Capt. Davis said there are different groups, and some are teenagers. He expressed appreciation for the Mobile Precinct’s visits, but he says every summer, it gets hotter earlier, and trouble starts earlier.

An Arbor Heights resident said that she’s been hit repeatedly by crime, “but I never see police in the Arbor Heights area, ever. … When are they there?” She said she lives near 35th and 102nd. “Each of our officers have different areas of responsibility,” Capt. Davis explained. Another person who lives near 26th/Thistle in Westwood said there’ve been problems, and also noted that the Southwest Athletic Complex fields have been locked up so people can’t get access. “I’ve had to call police officers to come out because kids would sit at the corner of 26th and Cloverdale and throw rocks at me when I went out to try to get my mail.”

Asked by WSCPC president Richard Miller about summer plans, Capt. Davis mentioned the automated license plate reader sweep just completed. “We ran more than 50,283 plates, recovered two stolen cars, 15 cars were booted for outstanding parking tickets.” Also, an ongoing traffic emphasis, with both local officers and Traffic Unit officers, though he warned that not only will those sweeps catch criminals, they’ll also catch neighbors breaking traffic laws. They’re working on gang issues, too, with that expected to reduce the number of shots-fired incidents. Regarding Lincoln Park car prowls, he said police know of “certain individuals” and are working on strategies to snag them.

911 CENTER: Brian Maxey, Seattle Police’s chief operating officer, was invited to talk about it – “one of my responsibilities … I essentially oversee the administrative side of the department,” he explained. He said Chief O’Toole didn’t realize “the depth of the broken systems at SPD” when she arrived, even beyond what had led to the federal consent decree. “The chief, when she brought me on, made it very clear, it’s time to fix those systems.”

1-to-33 is the supervisor to dispatcher ratio here, he said, while 1 to 8 is the industry standard. They’ve been “mandating that dispatchers remain on overtime shifts .. working incredible hours .. we have a very very overworked dispatch staff, and we’re working hard to fix that.” He said the mayor’s office has committed to hiring to help relieve that situation. But it “takes 18 months to get someone as a call-taker.”

He mentioned the problem that led to people calling 911 and getting a “fast busy signal” – so they’ve doubled the trunk lines and “you should be able to get through far more easily.” He also mentioned the “physical remodel” that we reported here.

“When you call 911 … one of the things we struggle with … for example, car prowls, we have a huge spike (in mornings), and people want an officer to respond … We found that looking at data, we were able to gather relevant evidence about 1 percent of the time … the officer would submit a report with everything that (the victim) said, but” in essence, he said, that was less efficient than the victim directly filling out the report online. “The majority of car prowls are not solved by a 911 response … if it’s already happened we can’t do much with the evidence collected” – what’s more important is where it happened and when, so they can do data analysis.

The numbers may or may not be significant, depending on the “density of cars,” he explained. “So for the low-level crimes, I really encourage online reporting. If you call the non-emergency line, I can’t guarantee you’re not going to have a frustrating experience.” Every area, he said, has a resource challenge. And to have 200 more officers by 2019, they’re going to have to hire probably 400 to 500 in the next three years – because, for example, there’s a wave of retirements.

A variety of factors all require them “to prioritize Priority 1 calls.” Right now the “average response time” for those is 9 1/2 minutes, he said, though that’s a little misleading, and he said “the most consistent response we have for Priority 1 is 7 1/2 minutes – nationally that’s a very good number.”

Last summer, one attendee said, her car and several others on the block were all broken into. Her cell phone was among the items taken, and at some point the thief turned on the phone, with a finder program showing the victim it was in Federal Way. She said she filed a report online and mentioned that. “Do those reports even get read?” she asked. Yes, said Maxey.

Other attendees asked for clarification on what constituted “low-level” crimes to report online. He pointed them to the online-report system for more on that – find it here.

Then concerns were raised by an attendee who said her neighborhood “blew 911 up” because of concerns, but didn’t get traction until finally coming to the precinct. “We don’t have confidence that (downtown) has a finger on the pulse,” she said. He said they’ve upgraded the system, policies, are working with unions so they can have “more flexible schedules .. we know the ebbs and flows of our 911 (systems) and know when we get (the most calls) …”

So how to escalate? the attendee pressed. For one, Maxey said, you can stress that you really want to talk to a “telephone reporting officer.” The department “just added a whole lot more” of those, he said.

One attendee had a procedural question about how SFD calls are handled … all 911 calls go to the West Precinct, Maxey said, but immediately get sorted out and handled. Asked about daypart volume, he said, 2 am-6 am is the lowest call volume, “so if you want to stay up and call then.” That drew a few laughs.

Captain Ron Rasmussen has done a great job managing the 911 center, but in the future, Maxey said, they will likely be doing a national search for a 911-specialist manager.

Another note – call volume is up significantly, and the North Precinct is responsible for much of that; SW call volumes are up about 16 percent, he said.

And he said that once the acoustic gunshot-locator system is in place, stats will spike because currently, “75 percent of gunshots go unreported.”

He also reminded people that if you’re calling from a mobile phone, the call-taker does NOT know exactly where you are – so you need to be able to provide that information.

And he said that in order to deal with more emergencies, a recent study indicated that calltakers shouldn’t be so “accommodating” – when emergency calls back up, most of the time, the study suggested, they’re dealing with non-emergency issues.

Asked how they would operate in case of disaster, Maxey mentioned they have a full backup center elsewhere in the city, and they have a truck-based setup they could deploy.

This weekend, by the way, with Pride and a President, is going to be huge for SPD. Maxey said they’ve “canceled all furloughs, all time off for this weekend, we’ve got plan after plan, 30-some-odd private events, the President of the United States, three Mariners games, a Sounders game, Nancy Pelosi is here…”

The West Seattle Crime Prevention Council meets third Tuesdays most months, 7 pm @ Southwest Precinct, but is on hiatus now until September.

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